C-MAP Hot Spot #1 - ‘The Trench’
by Carolina Gentleman Sportfishing
Northern Boundary: N26.10 W79.50
Southern Boundary; N25.55 W79.49
This spot lies just a few miles offshore of Ft. Lauderdale. Made up of ragged edges, ledges, and a rocky bottom, this “trench” is consistent when it comes to hot spots for South Florida Swordfish. The outer areas start at 950 feet and drop off to 1,600 feet. 10 miles long and only a few miles wide, this area is the perfect place to make day or night time drops and drifts. Taking advantage of the Northerly flow of the Gulf Stream, one can drift perfectly up the length of this trench. The best days to target swords are the three days before the full moon, and the three days after. The preferred bait is rigged squid, ladyfish, or dolphin belly’s, rigged on 300 lb leader with a 9/0 or 10/0 hook 9depending on bait size).
Using both my fish finder and my C-MAP High Res Bathy Fishing charts, you can easily start to see the contours change as you near this spot. You’ll first want to determine how much the current is moving and what your drift will be. Once determined, you’ll want to set up your boat to where you can drift the entire length of this spot.
Sword fishing during the day and during the night are two separate ballgames. For nighttime drifts, 50’s and 80’s are the norm, as anglers are typically fishing baits from the surface, down to 600 feet using a few pounds of lead. The tackle used during the daytime consists of electric reels with heavy weights, many times concretes blocks on breakaways, that take the bait to the bottom. Also, during the daytime the Captain must keep the boat in place working against the current to maintain position and keep the bait on the bottom, opposed to nighttime where the boat can drift.
Using C-MAP’s High Res Bathy Fishing charts, you’ll spend more time ‘burning drags’ and less time ‘burning fuel’!
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